Category Archives: Enjoy a good laugh

Strategies for Avoiding a Fight with Your Wife (A series…)

Strategy Two

Don’t Try and Win the Toilet Seat Debate

 “Men who consistently leave the toilet seat up secretly want women to get up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night and fall in.”

Rita Rudner

Okay…this is a disgusting topic but it must be covered. For some reason, society, which in this country normally pushes the individual to make decisions and solve problems for themselves, has determined that the default position for any toilet seat is down. I am not sure if it was determined by vote…by committee…or whether I have just been brainwashed into thinking it is an unspoken law but for whatever reason, civil society dictates that the correct position for the toilet seat when there are women in the house is down.

If there are just men in the house, a position of up seems to be okay as that is the position of most use. Also, most men are able to make the proper adjustment in the middle of the night and put the seat in the down position if that is the service that is required. It is miraculous, but somehow when guys find the toilet seat up, they recognize it, put it down and do not shout to the other guys, “who left the toilet seat up?”

Many years ago, before it was taboo to speak of such things, one of my friends changed the signs on our corporate bathrooms to “Pointers” and ‘Setters”, referring to types of bird dogs used for hunting. It was humorous for the guys, but in retrospect, I can’t remember many of the ladies enjoying the potty humor.

When I visited China over a decade ago, in many places there was just a hole in the floor. We thought of it as behind the times to say the least but maybe their society is so old that they once had a hinged seat and this very same up or down debate drove them to just a hole in the floor.

One strong manly friend of ours confessed while hunting with a group of us that he stopped fighting it. He lived with his wife and several daughters and he just gave in and became a “setter”. It was almost a religious moment hearing him tell the story in the hunting lodge surrounded by empathetic whiskered men. We all wondered if that was what our future held.

Many people attribute Isaac Newton’s famous quote, “what goes up must come down”, to him watching an apple fall nearby. For us men however, it just confirms that he was probably married and maybe lived in a house full of daughters. He knew the law of the toilet seat long before gravitational formulas entered his mind.

Regardless, it is a losing battle for men to debate…if there are women in the house, return the seat to its rightful place. Yes, it requires .0000013 calories and as many seconds to put it back down but you will spend exponentially more energy and time trying to win this fight to no avail.

HighFive YourLife Principle

What goes up must come down. Don’t fight it…put the seat back down!

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Valentine’s Day…Flowers or Sod?

“He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.”

 Douglas Adams

 

“My wife is always trying to get rid of me. The other day she told me to put the garbage out. I said to her I already did. She told me to go and keep an eye on it.”

 Rodney Dangerfield

 

“After 45 years of marriage, when I have an argument with my wife, if we don’t agree, we do what she wants. But, when we agree, we do what I want!”

 Jacques Pepin

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and my wife of 27 28 years is out of town and we will miss Valentine’s Day together. I can do the easy thing and send her some flowers and card or I can do the hard thing and put some sod down in the front yard so that when she returns she is surprised. I asked a few of you and the most common response was that I should do both!

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In order to get this right, one has to know my wife of 27 28 years and how she thinks. She doesn’t really care for a gift of flowers but neither does she want to spend money on things like a front lawn. With limited resources, there are a lot of other things she would rather spend the money on, such as the kids, travel and an annual subscription to Men’s Health for me.

Looking deeper, I would have to admit that it is really me that wants the front lawn and that I am simply doing it while she is gone so that it gets done. The assumption of course is that it would be way too hard for her to ask me to pull it back up, stack it on a pallet and go ask for a refund when she gets home. I hope I am not assuming too much.

And what of the flowers? She loves flowers but not as a gift that somehow pretends to show love and care with no effort on my part other than stopping by the grocery store with every other wannabe good husband picking up flowers on the way home from work. No…for me to get credit, I would have to hand pick them individually from a far-off mountainside (I live in Florida) and hand blow the glass vase myself.

But I know in my heart that flowers are not what she really wants for Valentine’s Day. What she really wants is for me to be healthy.  She wants me to eat correctly and work out and have zest for life and energy to enjoy the day. That sounds like a lot of work and effort on my part…that sounds like…wait a minute…Eureka! I’ve got it! Problem solved. I am so pumped.

img_7015I will forget about the grocery store flowers…I won’t fall for that lazy zestless selfish weak minded substitute for pure love. No…I will get up in the morning, gnaw on a few gluten free acorns and go out and get a wonderful day of exercise… laying sod…all for her. I will work up a sweat just for her. I will put that lawn in which we I have wanted for 20 years. Dang I love my wife. Thank you, sweetheart, for being such an inspiration!

img_7043                                           Yeah…I love Valentine’s Day

HighFive Your Life Principle

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Okay…for those that think I am a total bum, I am sending a card…

Okay…okay… I may be a bum but she loves me and that makes me the luckiest bum in the whole world!

Okay…Okay…Okay…I’ll plant some flowers too…

My wife does not do social media so let’s keep the sod on the down low and maybe she won’t notice it!…but Joey…if you do catch wind of this, just know that I love you and I am trying to be healthy and miss you very much…and yes, I will mow the new lawn.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

garyjoey

NBA Squirrel

img_5246I enjoy watching the birds at the bird feeder but I especially enjoy the battle with the squirrels. Over the years I have tried multiple devices and stratagem to keep them off. Today, a brave and very athletic squirrel found a way. He was very impressive and must have leapt 5 times his height. His one-handed form looked like an NBA jam!img_5251img_5252 He won the battle,  but later, I won the war. I raised it just a few inches higher and the poor boy just couldn’t reach it as hard as he tried.

img_5272If you look into the bushes on the last picture you can see the bird laughing too (don’t worry…Mr Squirrel gets plenty of natural food too).

HighFive Your Life Principle: There are generally multiple ways to solve a problem. When it all seems impossible, take a step back and look at the problem with different eyes. New ideas will come to you as you strive to solve the problem with an open mind. I am sure that the day will come when that squirrel will be back in my feeder because he always finds another way.

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The Mistake of the Old Man Brand

“It is easily overlooked that what is now called vintage was once brand new.”
Tony Visconti

There are brands out there with incredible name recognition like Coke, Pepsi and Nike. Let’s face it…there are also other kinds of brands, like the ones you put on cows that make them moo scream as the ranch logo sizzles permanently onto their skin.

Since I had both hips replaced, I found a new favorite kind of sock. It has very loose elastic at the top which helps with swelling in your feet. I have had them for a couple of years and it never hit me until this morning that I have been branded…and today I am letting out my own moo scream.

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For some reason this time when I looked at my feet, the logo or brand offended me. Why not put the Medi Peds logo somewhere else on the sock so that I do not have to be told that I am no longer part of the “Active Ped” Society.  I love these socks but they make me want to hurry and put on my shoes (hey…maybe that is their strategy to get us up and walking).

Once you dictate that we are part of the Medi Ped society, I am sure the Medi Fed and Medi Bed societies are not far behind until we finally join the Medi Dead society.

Why not put something motivational or fun on the toe of these socks. How about, “Turbo Feet” or  “Feat Feet” or “Seize the Day”. Even if they wanted to keep it medically associated, they could have written, “Walk or Die”. Many major retailers  advertise “loose fitting activewear”. How well would they do if their ads were centered around loose fitting medical or coffin wear?

I remember the days when tube socks came with stripes in your school colors and socks were everything on the basketball court and football and baseball fields. Maybe there is a part of me that does not want to accept that my new school colors are lab coat white and varicose vein blue and my new team is Medi Peds.

For all of you marketing guru’s out there that are counting on cashing in on the silver tsunami, remember that we still think like we are 20. Put some racing stripes on our diapers and make koozies for our pill bottles. We may not remember where we left the keys but we dang sure can remember what it was like to be young.

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Tell a Story

Why You Should Take Your Kids Fishing!

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”

Henry David Thoreau

I recently came across an old picture of a bass that one of my kids caught. Check out the expressions on my boy’s faces. I loved taking them fishing. My dad took me fishing. His dad took him fishing. I am sure that for generations along our family line, the dads have been taking their kids and grandkids fishing.

catch a fish

family fishing
Taking your kids fishing is awesome. It is an experience or sum of many experiences that sometimes have little to do with actually catching fish. There are boat trailers that lose an axle or have a flat tire. There is always the pressure of backing a trailer down a busy boat ramp with multiple “experts” and old timers watching and judging. There are plugs that are sometimes remembered only when the boat is quickly filling up with water.

There is bait to buy and keep alive. There are licenses and boat regulations to consider. There is bad weather, hot sun and early morning departures which impact your whole day.

There are boat batteries that run down and motors that won’t start. There are snacks, gas, and ice to buy. There are fishing lines that break and hooks that end up in fingers and ears. There are rods and reels that fall into the water and stringers of fish that drift away because nobody tied them to the boat. There are anchors that have the same fate…a well meaning toss over board with no rope attached to the boat. There are tangles and knots. There are long hot hours that go by without any bites except from mosquitoes. There are snakes and gators that keep you on your toes.

There is all of this and finally a nibble…and if the fish gods are smiling on you, your child lands a fish. Life is good again…or so it seems to the younger ones. For those older and more mature anglers, they know that life has been good all along.

hf70 As with fishing, life is much less about the end result than it is about the journey. Going fishing is all about teaching your children how to solve problems without them even realizing they are growing…it’s about them learning that having fun does not always mean things won’t go wrong. Going fishing is about spending time talking with your kids while you are waiting for the fish to bite or for someone to tow you in. Going fishing is about introducing your children to the wonders of nature. Going fishing is how you make a miserable outing into something that your kids will treasure forever.

Don’t rob your kids of these experiences. Even in the bible it tells us while raising kids we are not to spare the rod…and,  I might add, nor the reel and a box full of tackle. Do all that it takes to make a fishing trip possible. You may or may not catch a fish but there is no question that your misery will pay you back to the positive down the road.

 HighFive Your Life Principle: Go fishing with your kids. Enjoy what others may call misery and make memories that will last through the generations.

Tell a Story

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Why You Should Listen When Your Wife Puts a “Bug” in Your Ear…

 “Lady Middleton resigned herself… Contenting herself with merely giving her husband a gentle reprimand on the subject, five or six times every day.”

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Ok…by way of confession, I used this story in my last blog to relate a different life principle. That is one of the great things about the stories of our lives…they have multiple teaching moments if we look for them…now…back to the story.

I really enjoy a nice bowl of cereal for breakfast while reading a good book. Since cereal only requires the use of one hand, it is easy to shovel in luscious energy with your head positioned low and just over the bowl, while using the other hand to turn the pages and to keep anyone out who might have wandered inadvertently into the area where this intense and hallowed awesome morning ritual is taking place.

Recently, I prepared a nice bowl of a cereal with raisins. I added extra raisins and a good banana and settled down for a nice relaxing morning session of reading and eating.

About halfway through, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, an unusually large clump of raisins in my spoon surrounded by white milk. It was staged close to my mouth hopper waiting for the previous spoonful to adequately clear which only took a moment. I didn’t stop reading or even stop to take a look at it and into my system it went. I noticed as I chewed on it that it did not have the same texture that I came to expect when eating those juicy raisins but that sensation was but a footnote to whatever had my attention in the book.

Sometime later while back at my desk computer, I noticed something lingering in my mouth. It was actually hard to get a hold of but once I pulled it out, I was shocked to find the leg of a roach….yes shocked and grossed out and yukked out and holy cowed out. Yep…my nice clump of juicy raisins was just a nice juicy cockroach. Below is a picture of it.

roachHad my wife told me before (perhaps multiple times) to close the bag of cereal with a close pin before returning it to the cupboard?

Well…yes.

Was she right?

Well…yes.

Did I get what I deserved?

Well…no…I mean who deserves a roach in the mouth? Yuk!

One more time…Did I get what I deserved?

Well…yes.

Yes…I should have listened to my wise and loving wife. Instead of a bug in the ear, maybe I just needed a bug in the mouth to change my disobedient and lazy ways. It worked. I will now pay extra close attention when she says there is a “fly in the ointment” or “bug in the batter”.

A HighFive Your Life principle is to give heed to the bug in your ear that your wife places there from time to time. It will most likely make your life just a little easier.

Tell a Story

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Bacon…to Die for…

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”
Doug Larson

(not a relative but I love his way of thinking)

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Let’s face it…anything that actually tastes really good is generally not good for you to eat. If the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden would have been a piece of Hickory Smoked Bacon (the most noble of all fruits for any man), Adam would have taken the first bite!

Every day, we try to balance out what we should eat with what we want to eat. Admittedly, there are some people who have no attraction to food at all and could care less about the luring appeal of carbs, fats and sugars but their loss is our gain…pun intended.

Of all the controversial fake food products that are meant to make me think I am having fun but at half the damage to my body, the one that offends me the most is turkey bacon. Introduced as a healthier alternative to good old greasy bacon, it has found its way into my home as an ally to my wife who is trying to help me to a healthier lifestyle.

Recently, we had all of our adult kids over for the holidays and I was assigned to prepare breakfast. I love doing that and gladly accepted. Instead of the recommended eggs, I immediately started whipping up some pancake batter and setting the table with butter and maple syrup. The only thing missing was bacon.

Turkey bacon was available and I reluctantly started frying it. I was not surprised a few minutes later to notice that there was little activity in the frying pan. There was no sizzling sound. There were no drops of grease flying gleefully from the pan towards my eyes…it was quiet. There was no aroma tempting my neighbors to come by and pay a visit or waking my slumbering children and luring them downstairs for breakfast. The turkey bacon just lay there in the pan with no worries at all…it looked like a quiet game of cards instead of tackle football game in the backyard.

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Real bacon is an adrenaline rush to cook. It is an activity with risk that brings out the alpha male in all of us. When I fill the frying pan past capacity and grease is going everywhere, there is a danger that I may lose my eyesight or that we may have a fire. Bacon that hangs over the edges of the frying pan taunts all normal safety concerns and stays there until the body of the bacon has shrunk up enough to all fit inside the pan.

There is nothing dull about my morning bacon battles. To make it even more of an adrenaline rush, it is done with the tinge of marital guilt…I know I am doing something between just being mischievous and having an outright love affair with the bacon…I am doing it at my own peril and against the wishes of the leader of the home…I know that when the battle is over at the stove and I need a fire hose to clean up, there will still be heck to pay…and yet real bacon is too tempting to ignore.

Real bacon has an aroma that says…stop whatever you’re doing…it is time to eat…and bring your best game to the breakfast table because you know there is not going to be enough for everyone to get their fill. In order to de-vilify the bacon, once the battle at the frying pan is complete, it is placed on a paper towel which soaks up 100% of anything that might have been wrong with it. At that point, you can resist only a few seconds before taking a sample and that waiting period exists only to protect your now watering mouth from frying also.

After a pound of bacon has been cooked, anyone passing by grabs a piece. You fight to keep the kids out of it but eventually you have to give in. It is just too good to keep in inventory…just three pounds left to cook and then maybe there will be enough to put on the table. Bacon is one of the few food groups that is consumed a piece at a time by the whole family before they sit down at the table. Bacon is so strong that it makes everyone a thief.

But my turkey bacon that I had that morning made no noise and had no driving aroma. As I cooked it there was only a gradual turn from pink to brown and black. I finally decided to put some butter in the pan to spice things up. I am sure it defeated the purpose of the healthy bacon but at least it sounded like something was cooking.

I love my marriage and so turkey bacon has a place in our home but let’s not pretend that it is bacon. It should be called something else…maybe turkey lettuce or turkey cucumbers…but don’t insult the honorable and noble name of bacon. Bacon may be to die for but dang, it makes this life some much more fun to live for…can I get an Amen?

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